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Preparing for Surgery

To prepare you for surgery, a pre-surgical teaching nurse may meet with you or contact you by phone. This nurse gathers information regarding your general health. At this time, you may also be scheduled to meet with other health care professionals.

Routine tests and procedures may be required to determine your state of health. If you have had recent tests, please tell the pre-surgical nurse. Tests will vary, but may include blood and urine tests, an EKG for heart analysis, and a chest X-ray to determine if your lungs are safe for surgery and anesthesia. For your convenience, pre-registration can be completed online. 

Before Surgery

  • Quit Smoking or at least cut down before surgery.
  • Stop drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before surgery. 
  • Advise the pre-surgical nurse of any illegal drug use.
  • Ask your doctor about taking any medications (including herbal supplements) before surgery
  • Arrange for rides to and from the medical campus.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight the night before surgery. You may drink clear fluids (apple juice, water, tea and coffee without milk, creamer or sugar) as directed by the pre-surgical nurse or your doctor.
  • If you get a fever, cold or rash, call your doctor. Surgery may need to be postponed.
  • Plan for post-surgery needs such as transportation, home care or skilled care
  • Make changes in your home. For example, if you're told not to climb stairs, you may want to prepare a bed on the first floor.
  • Prepare food ahead or buy pre-made meals to reduce the amount of work you have after surgery
  • Arrange for friends or relatives to check in on you after surgery
  • Provide the hospital with a copy of your advance medical directives, if you have one. This statement describes the medical treatment you'd want or names the person you'd wish to make health-care decisions for you if you could no longer speak for yourself.
  • Remove all jewelry and piercings (including wedding rings).

What to Bring

  • Insurance cards and a photo ID
  • A parent or legal guardian, if patient is younger than 18
  • All medication bottles, for dosage and frequency
  • Overnight clothing (if necessary), such as robe and slippers
  • A case with your name on it for personal items that may be to be removed, dentures, glasses, or contact lenses

Day of Surgery

  • Shower or bathe 
  • Do not apply any lotions, powders, or cologne to the body 
  • Do not use any hair products
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing 
  • Leave valuables, such as jewelry, cash and credit cards at home 
  • Remove makeup, lipstick and fingernail polish

At the Hospital

  • Check-in at Patient Registration, located on Ground floor near the ER entrance.
  • You'll be guided to the surgery preparation area, receive your hospital gown and ID bracelet.
  • A nurse will review your medical history, medical procedure, and appropriate consent forms with you
  • An intravenous line will be started in the arm or hand to provide medication and fluids during surgery, with the exception of local procedures.